We have been saying it for years: Let's stop calling the killing of cyclists by negligent drivers "accidents". Or In city after city, pedestrians are getting killed or injured in "accidents" that weren't. Now, after a series of killings in New York City, a ridiculous 123 traffic deaths and 23,000 injuries so far in 2015, people are getting upset. The people at Transportation Alternatives think language has a role to play. They have a good point:
Before the labor movement, factory owners would say "it was an accident" when American workers were injured in unsafe conditions.
Before the movement to combat drunk driving, intoxicated drivers would say "it was an accident" when they crashed their car.
Planes don’t have accidents. They crash. Cranes don’t have accidents. They collapse. And as a society, we expect answers and solutions.
Traffic crashes are fixable problems, caused by dangerous streets and unsafe drivers. They are not accidents. Let’s stop using the word "accident" today.
Sign the pledge here. As Aaron Naparstek has noted:
Words are powerful. They shape the way we see the world around us.
Last night a thousand people gathered to complain about the carnage. Robin Urban Smith caught the video: